SECURITY 8 March, 2019 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: The government introduces a smog forecast

What goes on in Poland on the 8th of March.

Kowalczyk: From today you can check the forecast of smog in Poland

The State Institute for Environmental Protection – National Research Institute has developed a model forecasting the level of air pollution. Minister of the Environment, Henryk Kowalczyk, convinces in an interview with that the government’s fight with smog does not catch a shortness of breath, and soon the alert levels will be reduced.

When asked about what the launched model is to be used for, Kowalczyk said that, above all, planning outdoor activities: – At the moment we have an air monitoring system. There are stations from which data can be read online in individual cities. However, this model will predict the future, i.e. depending on the direction of the wind, on atmospheric pressure, but also will model emissions. This is also a repeatable cycle related to emissions from single-family houses or car exhausts. This is important because it warns and forecasts air quality in advance, and therefore is of major importance for society – he said.

However, the problem of smog in Poland does not occur from today: – Of course, it is probably that twenty years ago people were less interested in the air quality. Now the interest is much bigger. It probably results from the fact that there are a lot of measuring stations so that many people see the results of air cleanliness. Even private individuals have their devices measuring air quality. The interest is big, so we go out to meet it. This process lasted through the statutory obligation to develop a model that was imposed on the Institute of Environmental Protection last year. Now it is being launched – said Kowalczyk.

Inter-ministerial consultations are underway, mainly with the Minister of Health, but also with the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology. – The idea is that the alarm level should be such that on the one hand it actually warns when there is poor air quality, but on the other it can not be too low. Continuous alarms cause the vigilance to be suspended. This parameter must be balanced so that it is still the alarm in the worst situations. You have to lower the thresholds, but they can not be too low. After that, it is worth paying attention to the health parameters. We want to have the opinion of the Minister of Health on the extent to which it is a health risk. Of course, air quality has an impact on health, but how big? We live and function. In an ideal environment it is impossible to live, so some level of pollution must be tolerated – said the Minister of the Environment.